On the influence of scenario-based landscapeplanning – a comparison of two alternative futures projects

Christian Albert


Many publications report on processes and products of scenario-based landscape planning (SLP) but often place attention on its effectiveness to change local governance. This paper aims at enhancing understanding of the influence of SLP on decision making. First, qualitative case study methods are employed to assess the decision processes following two completed SLP projects. Second, potential reasons for the level of influence achieved in the projects are discussed in the light of a recently developed conceptual framework on the influence of scenario planning. The case studies are SLP projects in Pennsylvania and Arizona, USA. Both projects followed the Steinitz Framework for Alternative Futures Studies, but differed in context conditions and ways of implementation. The case study analyses resulted in the surprising finding that the graduate student planning process employed in the Pennsylvania case seemed to stronger influence local decisions than the multi-year research effort in the Arizona case. The analyses reconfirm prior propositions on the importance of context, but also strongly emphasizes that credibility alone is insufficient for yielding influence. Perceived levels of salience and legitimacy seemed crucial for local actors to consider planning results in decisions and creativity appeared to be essential for attaining public interest.

Słowa kluczowe

Landscape planning, influence, scenarios, alternative futures

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